Combined Company Forms a Powerful Growth Platform for Omnichannel Sellers Worldwide
LONDON, England, Sept. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Linnworks, a leading e-commerce enablement software and order management systems (“OMS”) provider, has announced its formal agreement to acquire SkuVault, a leading U.S.-based provider of inventory management software (“IMS”) and warehouse management systems (“WMS”) solutions. The deal brings together two companies with a shared vision of accelerating growth for omnichannel sellers. Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), a global investment firm with over $8.1 billion of capital commitments under management, will be the majority shareholder of the combined company.
“We are very excited for the combination of our local and global talent that will drive significant value to our customers, employees and partners,” said Callum Campbell, CEO of Linnworks. “We deeply appreciate SkuVault’s leading position within the North American market, driven by its highly differentiated product that offers rich features and functionality across the IMS and OMS value chain, as well as its deep WMS and third-party logistics (“3PL”) capabilities. We look forward to the depth of experience and spirit of innovation that the SkuVault team will bring to the shared company.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Linnworks team to drive strategy and innovation in our industry and increase value for our customers,” said Andy Eastes, CEO and Co-Founder of SkuVault. “Together, we intend to address the most difficult challenges growing omnichannel sellers face and help our customers seamlessly integrate their sales channels and warehouses, fulfill orders more efficiently, and ultimately, grow their respective businesses faster.” Upon closing, Linnworks and SkuVault will combine their strengths to offer robust IMS/OMS solutions in the market, with an excellent user experience, extensive breadth and depth of functionality, and globally available implementation and support services.
“We look forward to working with both the Linnworks and SkuVault teams to establish a global category leader in a fast-growing market segment with increased platform breadth and global coverage of customer profiles,” said Peter Chung, a managing director at Marlin. “We believe the businesses are highly complementary, not only from a geographic perspective, but also with each bringing strengths across a number of key product capabilities in order management, inventory management, analytics & forecasting, warehouse management and 3PL support,” said Grant Schachter, a principal at Marlin. “The acquisition of SkuVault underscores Linnworks’ mission to build a leading global provider of e-commerce enablement and OMS solutions,” said Roland Pezzutto, a managing director at Marlin. “Both companies have exhibited strong growth historically, and this transformative merger creates a unique opportunity to accelerate growth through investment in product innovation, go-to-market strategy, account management and support.”
Raymond James & Associates served as SkuVault’s financial advisor. SkuVault’s legal advisor was Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP. DC Advisory acted as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP and Mayer Brown International LLP served as legal advisors to Linnworks and Marlin. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Linnworks is a leading commerce automation platform that enables the world’s major marketplaces and sales channels to manage their multi-channel inventory, orders and fulfillment from a single dashboard while providing deep insights across operations. By equipping brands and retailers to conduct commerce wherever their customers are, Linnworks powers businesses to drive growth and boost brand success. Linnworks processes over $8 billion in gross merchandise value each year globally and serves some of the world’s largest, recognizable brands. For more information, please visit www.linnworks.com.
SkuVault’s warehouse and inventory management platform solves one of the biggest challenges in omnichannel retail: managing and tracking inventory at scale. By integrating with critical shipping, e-commerce and channel management platforms, SkuVault delivers inventory quantity, location and velocity with certainty. Today, over 1,200 of the world’s best product sellers trust SkuVault to ensure the success of their businesses. For more information, please visit www.skuvault.com.
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $8.1 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 200 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.
Medical device company Theragen is pleased to announce the issuance of a U.S. Patent acknowledging its innovative approach to the development of the ActaStim-S Spine Fusion Bone Growth Stimulator system.
The first new Spine Fusion Stimulator on the market in decades, ActaStim-S blends clinically proven therapeutic stimulation with modern design and a data-rich digital health platform. The system not only promotes healing, it encourages patient compliance, engagement, and informed dialogue with healthcare providers during the critical — and lengthy — post-operative fusion process.
“Spinal fusion is a healing process, often characterized as a race to achieve solid fusion before failure of the implanted hardware,” says co-inventor and Theragen CEO Chris McAuliffe. “Electrical stimulation is a clinically proven, safe and effective post-operative adjunct therapy that can help patients win that race, however its clinical effectiveness requires regular use over several months.”
“That’s why we’ve taken a user-centric approach, designing a more wearable device that also offers a digital health component that gives patients the unique opportunity to engage in, follow, and truly impact their own recovery.”
COO, VP of R&D, and co-inventor Richard Pearce explains further: “The system includes a remarkably discreet, unobtrusive wearable unit that is very well received by patients. It includes utilization tracking, on-board activity sensing, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, and an intuitive app that helps patients visualize their progress over time.”
“The essence of this new U.S. Patent (#11,394,919) is focused on ensuring that this connectivity does not interfere with ease of use — and that data collection and transfer can happen quickly and effectively.” Learn more about Theragen’s user-centric approach in Pearce’s recent Med Device Online article, 3 Lessons Learned Designing Our Digital Health App.
Theragen, Inc. is a leader in the development and manufacture of non-invasive, electrical stimulation DME products that deliver therapeutic energy for healing and empower patients to play an active role in their recovery. We’re committed to continuous innovation and expanding our reach to help improve outcomes for more patients. To learn more, please visit theragen.com.
Gun.io is a Nashville-born global talent agency that has spent the last decade getting the world’s best software developers hired on remote, long-term engagements with forward-thinking organizations. The company uses proprietary software and a unique, personal approach to massively outperform industry-standard hiring practices. In today’s competitive technology hiring market, organizations and software professionals work through Gun.io to get to work faster and reduce complexity and risk.
This month, Gun.io entered into an investment partnership with Ballast Point Ventures and raised $5.2M to accelerate its growth, the first such investment the company has taken on in its decade of profitable operation.
The company will direct the investment into improving the hiring experience for its 20,000+ users:
Vetted software professionals will be able to land their first paid engagement on the platform faster, while Gun.io does the hard work behind the scenes.
Hirers will be equipped with data-backed recommendations for competitive salaries that will help them land (and retain) world-class talent.
Professionals will be equipped with data-backed recommendations for market rates based on their skill and experience level; no more guessing how much to charge.
Professionals will see a dramatic increase in full-time and freelance jobs on the platform, including opportunities to broaden their skill sets.
For developers who want to increase their earning potential, Gun.io will offer mentorship across both professional and software skills.
Over the last ten years, Gun.io has paid out over $10 million to developers across the world, and has helped organizations access the kind of software talent that powers Silicon Valley darlings. Organizations like The Motley Fool and Custom Ink have expanded their development capacity with Gun.io engineers, and those same engineers have helped founders build and launch category-defining products.
“When we first met with Ballast Point Ventures, we were immediately struck by how aligned we were not just on the opportunity in front of Gun.io, but on our philosophy of how to build an enduring company through controlled and measured growth,” said Teja Yenamandra, co-founder and CEO of Gun.io. “Robert, Laura, and the team at Ballast Point Ventures not only have a great deal of practical marketplace experience, but they are disciplined investors that conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. That is precisely the culture we’re building at our company, and that focus on enduring relationships, integrity, and competence is precisely why our companies and developers choose to work with us instead of the myriad options they have. We look forward to building Gun.io together and continuing to transform the tech recruiting and staffing landscape.”
“Having gotten to know Teja over the last several years, we have been very impressed with the company that he has built in Nashville. We know the problem that he and Gun.io are tackling is a large and growing one, as we have heard firsthand from our portfolio of software companies about the challenge of finding high-quality software developers. This dynamic, coupled with the acceleration of ‘work-from-anywhere’, and gig worker trends, got us excited about partnering with Gun.io. Teja and his team have achieved significant growth with minimal outside capital investment, showing focus and determination that impressed us from the beginning,” said Ballast Point Ventures Partner Robert Faber, who will join the Gun.io Board of Directors. Laura Stein, who joined Ballast Point Ventures as a Vice President this past Spring, will join the Company as a Board Observer. Stein commented, “Gun.io is a great fit for us, given its headquarters in the Southeastern United States and its capital efficiency to-date. We are excited to partner with Teja, Tyler, and the rest of the team at Gun.io.”
Key Data Dashboard, the leading provider of trusted vacation and short-term rental data, today announced that it has secured a $5 million credit facility from Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank with a dedicated Venture Banking Group serving venture-backed startups and their investors nationwide. This new credit facility will complement a $5 million Series B round led by Ballast Point Ventures and is intended to support several key initiatives.
“We’ll use this new capital to fund Key Data’s high growth initiatives, which include our new direct-to-consumer platform, an expansion of our enterprise data offerings, and an acceleration of our growing international presence,” said Jason Sprenkle, Chief Executive Officer of Key Data.
“We’ve effectively doubled our team, revenue, and customer base over the past twelve months, and we are excited to be leaning further into the explosive growth that the short-term rental industry has been experiencing. The pandemic, the shifting economy, and the overall growth of the space have fueled tremendous demand for our data, as has the recent confluence of real estate and short-term rental data for investors, REITs, and underwriters. We’re eager to keep pace by delivering new tools, expanded offerings, and an unwavering commitment to providing the most accurate, timely, and trusted data available.”
“The hospitality industry continues to evolve as online marketplaces for vacation rentals and investment properties are on the rise. Key Data’s innovative vacation rental data products provide real-time insights and analytics to drive revenue — not only for individual investors but also large-scale property managers and tourism organizations,” explained Dhruv Patel, Senior Vice President in Signature Bank’s Venture Banking Group.
“Jason and his experienced team are no strangers to success. After two prior exits, Glad To Have You™ and 360 Blue, the team was ready to make their mark in another venture and we welcomed the opportunity to be involved. We look forward to working with Key Data and their investors, including Ballast Point Ventures, as the company continues to expand and serve this growing market,” added Patel.
DURHAM, N.C.–Keen Decision Systems (“Keen”) announced today that it has closed an $11 million Series B financing led by Ballast Point Ventures IV (“BPV”) to accelerate the industry’s first and only decision optimization engine rooted in predictive analytics. Brand marketers struggle to optimize marketing investments across all online and offline channels. Keen’s unified adaptive marketing mix solution empowers brand leaders to quickly and accurately plan, adjust and report on their marketing mix strategy. Marketing leaders can now account for known and unexpected complexities across their entire marketing landscape through vetted recommendations to improve performance, outpace the competition, and increase profitability.
Marketing challenges are not in short supply these days. Consumer behavior continues to evolve with increased media fragmentation and more tools for marketers to manage. Additionally, unexpected events like inflation, COVID-19, and supply chain issues make planning even more difficult. Keen’s platform analyzes a complete array of data sources, including real-time data, to generate marketing plans that empower marketers to achieve their financial targets.
“We’ve had the benefit of following Keen for a few years now and have been very impressed with Greg Dolan, Josh Busbice and their entire team,” said Sean Barkman, a Partner at Ballast Point Ventures. “Keen is bringing a much-needed solution to the marketplace, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Company to help Keen win in this large and growing market.” The investment from Ballast Point Ventures will accelerate Keen’s product development and fuel Keen’s brand awareness and continued expansion into new industry verticals. As part of the financing, Sean Barkman will join Keen’s Board of Directors.
“Keen provides best-in-class value to its clients and regularly improves marketing efficiency by 25 percent or more. The Company has been fortunate to experience a unique opportunity in the market as we’ve introduced a new paradigm for decision-making to the marketing industry. This has led to a significant growth trajectory, and we are confident that the collaboration with Ballast Point Ventures will continue to accelerate that growth. This investment represents a reciprocal opportunity for both companies, and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome BPV on board,” said Greg Dolan, Co-Founder and CEO.
YPrime, LLC, a global leader in cloud-based eClinical solutions, announces the addition of two key members to its executive team—Mohan Ganesan, Chief Financial Officer and Alison O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer.
As chief financial officer, Mohan Ganesan provides financial and strategic guidance to the company and partners with our investors and executive team to drive investments appropriately. Mohan provides financial oversight and leads the development of standardized business metrics for finance, accounting, business operations, and human resource functions.
As chief operating officer, Alison O’Neill oversees the departments responsible for project management and quality delivery of YPrime’s products and services. With more than 35 years of clinical research experience beginning as a bench chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, Ali has held executive roles in global organizations providing technology solutions to the industry.
“It’s a real privilege to add these two experienced leaders to our executive team,” says Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime. “We have always been about ensuring an optimal experience for sponsors, sites, and patients. Under Mohan’s leadership, we will be able to make strategic decisions about investments that will serve our clients’ ever-evolving needs and measure the impact of our business. Ali’s depth of expertise allows us to continue enhancing our products, processes, and services to meet the needs of these crucial stakeholders throughout a clinical trial.”
New Capability Enables Individuals Identified as High-Risk by Participating Health Plans to Access Screening through a Quest Diagnostics Site
Builds on Quest’s Extended Care Services to Improve Care Quality and Outcomes in Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced a collaboration with IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) to deliver diabetic retinal imaging services through designated Quest Diagnostics patient service centers across the United States to aid in screening patients for retinal assessment by a healthcare provider. The collaboration aims to increase convenience and improve screening rates for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in the United Statesi, for members of population health management programs sponsored by health plans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of patients with diabetes over 40 years old have diabetic retinopathy.ii Screening to aid early detection and treatment may help prevent the disease from progressing to blindness.iii While an annual diabetic retinal screening is medically recommended for patients with diabetes, barriers to care can limit access to this service.
In 2018, Quest Diagnostics, through its Quest HealthConnect (QHC) business, began to provide diabetic retinal imaging for use in screening using the IRIS platform. This platform involves the use of a portable, handheld camera that captures a patient’s retinal images as part of its risk evaluation and care services for participating health plan members. The new collaboration with IRIS extends the use of the IRIS platform at Quest’s patient service centers.
New service builds on Quest’s vision to aid in closing gaps in care for patients with diabetes The new service expands on the Quest Diagnostics Extended Care portfolio of services designed to facilitate access to care beyond traditional healthcare settings. These services feature home-based risk assessment and monitoring tools through Quest HealthConnect and coaching for chronic conditions through Pack Health, which Quest Diagnostics acquired in January 2022. It also includes services provided by Quest Healthcare Analytics, which utilizes the company’s database of 60 billion laboratory test results to help identify and engage at-risk members for health plans to close screening gaps and improve care quality and outcomes.
With training developed by IRIS, designated personnel at Quest patient service centers will transmit a patient’s retinal image to a credentialed, licensed ophthalmologist to interpret the images. The IRIS Program returns a diagnostic and patient report to Quest HealthConnect. The results are also transmitted to the health plan as well as the patient’s primary care physician or eye specialist for follow-up diagnosis and care.
“Limited access to important screenings has allowed the undetected, sight-threatening progression of diabetic retinopathy to grow,” said Christopher Grant, Vice President & General Manager, Quest HealthConnect. “Through this collaboration with IRIS, we can now provide a new opportunity to help prevent sight loss. Leveraging our network of patient service centers will increase access to screenings for many, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.”
“IRIS is thrilled to be joined by Quest Diagnostics, the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, to help mitigate preventable blindness,” said Steve Martin, IRIS CEO. “Through this expanded care network, it will make it much easier to reach the estimated 60% of people with diabetes that are currently skipping their annual diabetic retinopathy check.iv”
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina and can lead to vision loss or blindness in diabetics. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is crucial to slowing disease progression and preventing patients from losing their eyesight.
Malvern, PA, February 8, 2022 – YPrime, LLC, a global leader in cloud-based eClinical solutions, announced today the strategic acquisition of Tryl, a software development company with a unique patient engagement solution that brings together beautiful design, dynamic personalization, and applied behavioral science that is designed to boost engagement, reduce dropouts, and deliver outcomes in clinical trials. The acquisition includes the transfer of all staff, development capabilities, and intellectual properties to YPrime, and will integrate with YPrime’s Patient Engagement Technologies solutions.
“YPrime’s major priority has always been to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s clinical trials and create powerful eClinical tools that simplify the lives of sponsors, sites, and patients,” says Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime. “This combination with Tryl helps us leap ahead in fulfilling our vision of creating the industry’s first-of-its-kind solution to help keep patients more informed and engaged throughout the entire clinical trial process, especially as our industry accelerates toward decentralized clinical trial models.”
“An ever-increasing focus on patient centricity demands an integrated approach to how patients are engaged,” says Ian Greenfield, CEO of Tryl. “This starts from the moment patients are recruited and continues throughout the entire patient journey. YPrime has a strong vision for the future and by bringing together offerings from our two companies, we can create a novel solution that takes head on the most pressing challenges associated with attracting, engaging, and retaining patients.”
Tryl’s tools provide an experience that is personalized, predictive, empathetic, and relative to the overall patient journey. Tryl’s proprietary engagement score is designed to reduce patient dropout rates. Rooted in consumer experience, the Tryl team applies proven behavioral principles from other industries (such as professional sports and consumer finance) to seek to improve patient adherence to study protocols.
Mark Maietta, President, YPrime expressed his enthusiasm, “The addition of the Tryl team and their innovative solutions will boost patient compliance and reduce attrition, and the timing is perfect. YPrime has built an enviable market position with its strong eCOA and IRT capabilities. Now we can seamlessly layer on complementary solutions to our innovative technology stack for running successful decentralized trials.”
Tryl applies a consumer-grade UX and proven behavioral techniques like design thinking, empathy, and social proof, to increase study compliance and guide participants through complex protocols. Predictive analytics prompt clinicians to step in before subjects drop out. This approach minimizes participants’ burden while maximizing value for sponsors and researchers.
A business that’s spent more than 15 years growing in and around Tampa’s music scene has raked in $37 million in its latest round of fundraising.
Symphonic Distribution, a music distribution and streaming-focused tech firm based in downtown Tampa, closed its Series B round in late 2021, with Philadelphia’s NewSpring Capital leading the way. Tampa’s Ballast Point Ventures, which led the company’s $4 million Series A fundraising in 2017, also participated.
“We just felt like there’s so much capital out there that now would be a good time to explore some opportunities,” Symphonic CEO Jorge Brea said. “Thankfully that worked out.”
In a statement, NewSpring partner Brian Kim said Symphonic’s technology “offers independent artists the tools needed to supercharge their careers and expand their reach.
“We’ve been impressed for a long time with what Jorge and the team are building at Symphonic,” Kim said, “everything from their patented technology to their incessant focus on putting the independent artist first.”
Brea founded Symphonic in Wesley Chapel in 2006, working with independent artists both local and national to get their music onto streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, as well as distributing it through more traditional, physical means. The company sponsored local concerts in Tampa Bay and showcases at South By Southwest, among other ventures, and expanded to an office of nearly 30 in downtown Tampa. Today, the company has dozens of employees in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, South America, Europe and Africa.
Even as parts of the music industry shut down during the pandemic, there was still “a lot of excitement and interest in this space,” Brea said, with publishing companies shelling out huge sums for music rights, and firms making hefty investments in Symphonic competitors like DistroKid and United Masters.
“There’s a good runway for the music industry to keep going,” he said.
With the $37 million investment, Brea plans to hire, doubling his technology staff to 20 or even 30, and adding A&R representatives to work the music side of the business. Symphonic might explore acquisitions of complementary companies in Europe to expand its footprint in the music-tech space.
The company is also keeping an eye on the nascent NFT world and what blockchain technologies could mean for the world of music distribution.
“For us, we’re not looking to build a marketplace, but rather work with key artists, maybe ones that have a certain level of traction, to partner up with various exchanges and just help coordinate drops and market them,” Brea said. “We’re wanting to keep an open mind and be able to work with many artists, but be selective in the process, as well as work with many exchanges, just because there’s so many of them now.”
Before the pandemic, Symphonic had looked at expanding its downtown Tampa footprint. Those plans have scaled back as the company has adopted more of a hybrid work model. But with this latest infusion of out-of-state capital, they have all sorts of options.
“I’ve loved Tampa ever since I moved here in ‘92,” Brea said, “and just to be a part of this city and be able to help put more business eyes on it as well is a very, very awesome thing.”
Tampa-based investment firm Ballast Point Ventures has closed its latest fund with $190 million in commitments.
The firm’s initial goal for its fourth fund was $165 million, which it closed in January 2021. But interest from investors, both old and new alike, continued to climb.
Institutional investors, family offices and about 50 entrepreneurs participated in the fourth fund, with roughly 100 total investors.
An oversubscribed fund is not particularly unique for Ballast Point, which oversubscribed nearly $25 million in its third fund in 2015. Partner Drew Graham said anything below $200 million is “key” to sticking to the company’s strategy. That strategy means investing in three to four companies per year, with investments that run between $5 million to $15 million.
It’s a strategy that helps Ballast Point stand out, according to partner Paul Johan.
“The companies that aren’t ready for a $15 million to $20 million round can be in a position for a $5 million check, and we don’t have to pressure them to take more capital,” Johan said. “A lot in the region we don’t see competing in that size, the $5 million to $8 million [rounds]. It’s where we’ve been the last five years, and it’s positioned us well.”
Ballast Point was founded in 2001 and has partnered with over 50 companies across its four funds. It invests in companies across the Southeast. The firm primarily focuses on technology and health care, which have seen upticks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have companies that were largely impacted [by Covid-19], mainly on the health care side,” said Matt Rice, a partner at Ballast Point who leads the health care practice. “The good thing about having a diversified portfolio, a big chunk is software and technology — which benefitted during the pandemic. … Like a lot of entrepreneurs, we also had to adapt in order to get to a successful outcome.”
Rice added remote patient care is a trend Ballast Point is following. Partner Robert Faber, who focuses on technology, said he has some trends to focus on with the new fund.
“We’re big believers in data to make decisions; we spend a lot of time in cybersecurity,” Faber said. “Any business-to-business tool which simplifies and takes the frustration out of the process.”
Ballast Point has already begun deploying capital from its fourth fund, investing in four Florida companies over the last year:
March: Led an $8 million Series A in Bradenton-based Pacemate
May: Participated in a recapitalization for Lutz-based Suncoast Skin Solutions
September: Led a $5 million Series B in Santa Rosa Beach-based Key Data
December: Invested in a $37 million Series B for Tampa-based Symphonic Distribution
“All four being in Florida is huge for us,” Partner Sean Barkman said. “And hopefully, we’ll end up with a majority of companies in Florida in this next fund.”